The Adventure Club is a welcoming place for both the exchange students and the Rangers involved


From Julia Carlson

A picture from an Adventure Club meeting

Sophomore Joy Ndirangu is an exchange student from Kenya who is staying at FHC for the entire school year. She is fifteen years old and close friends with the rest of the foreign exchange students. Although, she never would have met them if it wasn’t for a club she was invited to join for exchange students to explore American things.

FHC has many clubs ranging from a club about board games to the Adventure Club formed by senior Julia Carlson. Each is made for students and their unique interests and hobbies. Anyone is welcome to create one of their own as long as enough people are interested, such as the Adventure Club.

“At first, [being a new student] was kind of hard because you didn’t know who you were going to talk to,” Joy said. “After I joined the [Adventure] Club, I felt more welcome and got to know that I am not alone in this experience. I had other exchange students who were also experiencing the same thing so it was really interesting.”

Julia was the one who first founded the club so that exchange students could have a place where they can talk to each other in an American environment, but with other people who understand what it’s like to be new.

The Adventure Club at FHC is a club for foreign exchange students and regular students alike to go out and have fun. The club was created to give the exchange students a chance to get the full American experience along with other students.

“Right now, we have six exchange students in our school,” Julia said, “and luckily, all six of them are super interested in it. [They]  have loved it.” 

Julia first decided to create the club when she was doing a yearbook spread in class; they decided to focus on the exchange students for a specific page. This required her to go around and interview all of them. As she was interviewing them, she asked about the other exchange students and they all said they didn’t meet any of the others, mentioning that they hadn’t gotten to know any of them and didn’t know who they were or if there were any others. 

Sophomore Nicolas Gandarias Saez, a member of the Adventure Club, also known as Nico, didn’t know about the other exchange students just like Joy. Once Julia realized this was a common theme, she decided to take matters into her own hands and brought them together. After they were together, she eventually asked them if they would be interested in joining a club. They all said they would like to have a club for exchange students, so Julia brought it to life.

“I’ve been [becoming] really good friends with the other exchange students and other people,” Nico said. “It’s a good way to hang out with people and have fun.”

It’s a car full of different diversities and cultures.”

— Joy Ndirangu

The members of the club plan different places to visit such as the haunted corn maze they went to for Halloween, or the Friendsgiving that was hosted by one of the other members. The club members hope to do a Christmas or holiday-themed trip soon.

There is one main way they get from place to place: carpooling. The students’ host parents sometimes volunteer to drive them to the destination, but Julia usually drives them there if they don’t have a ride, so the transportation is all a collaborative process.

“During the carpool, we listen to music,” Joy said. “We like listening to different types of music from different countries because it’s a car full of different diversities and cultures. I’d suggest a piece of music from my country and other exchange students suggest [s​​ome] from theirs. It’s really fun. We get to sing, and carpooling is fun because we get to be with each other.”

During their time together, they have grown closer and closer. They continue to make more memories together and experiences they’ll never forget. When the exchange students leave FHC, they will have a lot of stories to tell about their experiences. 

Not only will the exchange students get a lot out of this new club, but so will the others involved in the club. Julia herself has made amazing memories and can’t wait to visit all her new friends in their counties in the future. She thinks the club has become more than a way to give the exchange students an American experience.

“Honestly, it’s really cool at the end of the year to be able to say, ‘I have some friends that are all across Europe’ and to hopefully one day to be able to visit them,” Julia said. “I think that’s exciting, especially given that I’m a senior and [I’ll get] to hopefully plan a backpacking trip through Europe next year. Now, I have these six places to stay. It’s cool to be able to build that connection apart from rangers.”